Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal has said the Election Commission is yet to gain the confidence of all regarding the use of electronic voting machines.
Speaking at a press briefing at the EC office yesterday, he said the commission was working to earn the confidence.
The EC was holding meetings on the use of EVMs and would sit with the technical committee, he added.
Habibul said the next general election will be held in due course and it would of course not take place “at night”.
He said he was in Sydney during the last parliamentary polls on December 30, 2018 and saw that voting was held during the daytime. BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had expressed satisfaction at the atmosphere on the polling day, the CEC added.
His comments came against the backdrop of allegations by many political parties, including the BNP, that ballot stuffing took place the night before the polling day.
Habibul said no election commissioner or EC official has announced a reward of $10 million for detecting any glitch in the EVMs.
He said a commissioner might have uttered these words at a programme “misquoting someone due to slight memory loss”, but it was not the commission’s decision.
Addressing a programme in Madaripur on Saturday, EC Anisur Rahman said, “Every political party in Bangladesh has IT experts. We will show them our machines also. We will give them EVMs and ask them to show if there were any glitches…. Our chief election commissioner has also announced a reward of $10 million for anyone finding any glitches in the EVM.”
The CEC yesterday said it was not the commissioner’s own comment, rather he tried to quote someone and that created confusion.
“Confusion has spread. The chief election commissioner cannot make such a bizarre comment,” Habibul said.
The former bureaucrat said the EC doesn’t want to turn an election into a farce. “As citizens [of the country], we want to strengthen democracy and make the political situation healthy by holding a fair and participatory election,” the CEC said.
Four other election commissioners, including Anisur, were present at the press briefing.